In line with an ageing population, older people will play an evermore prominent role in volunteering. This is welcome news ensuring the benefits of volunteering can ward off issues that can impact older age such as social isolation and loss of confidence.
The percentage of working age people is set to fall so, in turn, the numbers of working age people volunteering is also likely to fall. A shrinking workforce will create new societal and economic demands and how volunteering within this age group can be sustained, and indeed flourish, in the coming decades is a challenge which we must address now.
There is a need for representation across the third sector to ensure services and support are reflecting the true needs of society. Only 0.5% of charity trustees are young people* yet almost half of young people volunteer**.
There is a decline in volunteering once people reach 25** and this is something that needs to be addressed before the pressures of family and career come into play. Flexible volunteering offers equity of opportunity.
Embedding volunteering as a habit from a young age is vital for society to flourish. The statistics about youth volunteering are fantastic but they could be better. The experiences we are offering need to offer lasting benefits to the volunteers as well as the organisations they support. The opportunities to volunteer need to evolve and grow, free from traditional silos. It is unlikely that an individual would cease feeling responsibility to a cause once they are committed.